Hand painted environment tips?

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Royall polycounter lvl 3
Hi guys,

So i'm working on a generated world which needs to have a stylized japanese/oriental vibe to it. 
I'm not happy with the way my scene looks as it is a bit hard to read. Tree areas look like a green blur sometimes and I would love some help and/or tips.

I have changed colors hundreds of times trying out different tints of green but I feel there is something missing. I would also like to create different biomes to give some variation to the land but where do I start? What kind of textures?

Hope someone can give a little advice to improve :)

Cheers




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  • wirrexx
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    wirrexx polycounter lvl 6
    It's all in the shaders and The light. So many artists forget how big of a change lighting can do, i'd recommend looking up Tilman Mildes UE4 Lighting academy on Youtube (and UE4 forums) listen to his advices! =) 
  • Kaine123
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    Kaine123 polycounter lvl 4
    Hey you've got some serious tiling issues with those ground textures, you can mask between two different sized textures in order to break them up! I might also suggest fading into a larger texture at a distance. 
  • Royall
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    Royall polycounter lvl 3
    Kaine123 said:
    Hey you've got some serious tiling issues with those ground textures, you can mask between two different sized textures in order to break them up! I might also suggest fading into a larger texture at a distance. 
    I use Unity terrain... Don't have that much options :(
  • Royall
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    Royall polycounter lvl 3
    wirrexx said:
    It's all in the shaders and The light. So many artists forget how big of a change lighting can do, i'd recommend looking up Tilman Mildes UE4 Lighting academy on Youtube (and UE4 forums) listen to his advices! =) 
    Thx! Although I use Unity, ill check it out!
  • Royall
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    Royall polycounter lvl 3
    Updated the colors a little


  • Squkkawakka
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    Squkkawakka polycounter lvl 4
    While UE4 and Unity are difference engines, a lot of basics are very much similar. For the terrain texturing painting, you need more textures. I see what looks to be 1 grass, 1 dirt, 1 sand and 1 rock texture. I would say at least 2-4 of each. You can use the Brush Opacity and Target strength to blend between the textures in Unity. More Textures = More Variety. Different types of Foliage would help as well, more variety of trees, grasses, bushes, etc. A whole world is a lot to tackle, especially if its your first time. My recommendation would be to take it chucks instead of trying to build it all up at the same time.
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    still super flat lighting.

    Also lots inf intensely saturated colors and contrast in the textures really don't give the eye anywhere to rest - the sky is the easiest thing to looks at because of the value noise elsewhere.

    For a fix, try finding a ground/grass color that doesn't clash so hard (red and green fight alot!) and try to vary the hues in your foliage texture.
  • mhofever
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    mhofever polycounter lvl 3
    You'd probably want to study your inspiration material, what sort of style do you want? Hand painted style is quite general and there's many types of different hand painted art styles (warcraft,  zelda BoTW, borderlands, team fortress 2 ; all have varying styles). Make a mood board with references and inspiration to get an idea of your environments art style.

    As for lighting,  a rule of thumb, don't cast overhead lighting (exception in certain  circumstances ) as you wouldn't get that nice contrast to make your environment pop out a bit more. Find a more dynamic angle.  Look at some movies that have strong lighting and study them.
  • Royall
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    Royall polycounter lvl 3
    While UE4 and Unity are difference engines, a lot of basics are very much similar. For the terrain texturing painting, you need more textures. I see what looks to be 1 grass, 1 dirt, 1 sand and 1 rock texture. I would say at least 2-4 of each. You can use the Brush Opacity and Target strength to blend between the textures in Unity. More Textures = More Variety. Different types of Foliage would help as well, more variety of trees, grasses, bushes, etc. A whole world is a lot to tackle, especially if its your first time. My recommendation would be to take it chucks instead of trying to build it all up at the same time.
    I know what you mean. Was thinking the exact same thing but the problem is that I find it very hard to come up with alternative textures that mix well. The scene is 100% auto generated btw :)
  • Royall
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    Royall polycounter lvl 3
    mhofever said:
    You'd probably want to study your inspiration material, what sort of style do you want? Hand painted style is quite general and there's many types of different hand painted art styles (warcraft,  zelda BoTW, borderlands, team fortress 2 ; all have varying styles). Make a mood board with references and inspiration to get an idea of your environments art style.

    As for lighting,  a rule of thumb, don't cast overhead lighting (exception in certain  circumstances ) as you wouldn't get that nice contrast to make your environment pop out a bit more. Find a more dynamic angle.  Look at some movies that have strong lighting and study them.
    I am aiming more towards a warcraft/torchlight kinda style :)
    About the lighting, it can't be fixed as it has a dynamic day/night cycle.. (Which probs makes it all a bit harder).
  • Royall
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    Royall polycounter lvl 3
    Got a little more detail in de grass texture, updated the grass billboards with a more interesting shape and toned down the reds in the dirt.



    Anyone got tips for different biomes in terms of textures and colors?
  • Kid.in.the.Dark
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    Kid.in.the.Dark polycounter lvl 2
    Did a bit of a colour correction and a small paintover on the rocks...

    - The scene feels far too saturated and a little unpleasant on the eye... I feel this would be something a little more comfortable and would enable you to push your lighting values a little further to get more interesting balances on values between shadow and highlights as a whole.
    - The rocks look really clean and don't feel like they belong there... so just paint in some dirt and moss to help it settle into the rest of the environment.
    - If you're looking for japanese style theme... I'm pretty sure to sell that theme straight up would be bamboo shoots with some sharp leaves and some funky looking banzai style trees.
    - Still some heavy repetition in the ground texture you have there btw. I'd consider using a second variation of that texture to blend with along with.



    Sharp Leaves:



    Good work so far though, keep it up :)
  • Royall
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    Royall polycounter lvl 3
    Did a bit of a colour correction and a small paintover on the rocks...

    - The scene feels far too saturated and a little unpleasant on the eye... I feel this would be something a little more comfortable and would enable you to push your lighting values a little further to get more interesting balances on values between shadow and highlights as a whole.
    - The rocks look really clean and don't feel like they belong there... so just paint in some dirt and moss to help it settle into the rest of the environment.
    - If you're looking for japanese style theme... I'm pretty sure to sell that theme straight up would be bamboo shoots with some sharp leaves and some funky looking banzai style trees.
    - Still some heavy repetition in the ground texture you have there btw. I'd consider using a second variation of that texture to blend with along with.



    Sharp Leaves:



    Good work so far though, keep it up :)
    Thx for the advice! I've tested out your desaturated option but I am really missing the vibrant colors, I do agree it's a good option to desaturate a little bit :)

    I have some bamboo ready but I wanted to save it for another biome with different ground textures. The trees your seeing now need to represent japanese black pines (They need some more work and variation :D)


  • Royall
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    Royall polycounter lvl 3
    Created a little bamboo biome with a new ground texture (dry leaves), also did some color correction and terrain work.





    Share your thoughts!
  • mhofever
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    mhofever polycounter lvl 3
    The lighting still makes everything feel very flat. I know you said that it's set as a dynamic day/night cycle but surely you can set it to a certain time to get that dynamic lighting going.  

    Look at horizon zero dawn,  Witcher 3, gta 5, all have dynamic D/N cycle but the devs show the more dynamic and beautiful looking screenshots (rarely see any overhead sunlightinf unless it looks really good) .  I'd say get the lighting to look more dynamic first.

    I like your clouds though! 
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli polycounter lvl 4
    Great start! I'd like to echo @mhofever that it would be helpful, both for yourself and for the people giving feedback, if you posted your references and inspirational material. 

    I also think it would be helpful to make a benchmark by creating a much smaller scene, maybe a fork in the road or something where you can show off some assets and control the composition, before moving on to something as big as you're doing right now. But that's just my opinion. Good luck!
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